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Industry News: Coronavirus White Paper

The Corona Effect

Trade shows are being cancelled. The number of those infected is rising. Factories and businesses have been closed. However: In China right now, the air is significantly cleaner. Quarantined people are singing together from their balconies and shopping for the sick and elderly. What effect is the Coronavirus having on our daily lives? And what will happen after the crisis? What will life and the economy be like post-pandemic? The Frankfurt-based Zukunftsinstitut, a platform for future themes, describes in four scenarios how the virus could fundamentally change the world. One possible scenario: a world and an economy that have become more sustainable and are shaped by a “we” society.

March 2020

High-voltage power lines crackle and hum. The Corona effect is the reason. Electrical discharge is a physical process which is as a rule undesirable but can be useful. The same might be said of the Coronavirus. The Zukunftinstitut’s Scenario No. 4 describes a resilient society post-crisis, which is less dependent on global production chains. The monopolies of the largest distributors collapse, and regional products and supply chains experience an upswing. Glocalisation becomes established, i.e. cities and communities link up with global organisations in order to tackle problems creatively and find resolutions more quickly. Society is characterised by increasing solidarity and a “we” culture. Artificial intelligence and big data are implemented to make health services more integrated. Health now includes the environment, politics and the global community. The focus is on forming successful relationships and acting more locally.

Thinking locally is also the focal point of Scenario No. 3 of the Zukunftsinstitut’s white paper. Here, people withdraw into the private sphere, form smaller communities which produce their own food, provide for each other and revive traditional craftsmanship techniques. Work is done in home offices and travel is no longer taken for granted.

The remaining two scenarios are less optimistic. The first is one of total isolation in which everyone competes against everyone else in a high security society. The second shows a world in a permanent state of crisis with sealed-off borders and data protection all but abolished. What the medium-term future will be after the Corona crisis will be decided now. There is a chance to preserve and cultivate the positive aspects of the pandemic for the future: health, sustainability, solidarity and mutual responsibility in society and economy.

#Coronavirus #Zukunftsinstitut #Economy

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